Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Western Regional Minister on Tuesday said chiefs must unite to foster development within their respective communities and jurisdictions. He said divisions; boundary disputes, litigations and disrespect for each other must be buried in the interest of regional integration and development.
Mr. Aidoo made the call at the end of year meeting of the Western Regional House of Chiefs at Sekondi.
He said the Western Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) would liase with the chiefs to settle all differences among them. The Regional Minister informed the chiefs that the World Bank had pledged two million dollars grant to the region for an alternative livelihood project for small-scale miners.
Mr. Aidoo said children aged between eight and 15 years, who were presently engaged in small-scale mining must be encouraged to return to school, to prepare themselves for the future.
He said without education, such children could become matured criminals and social misfits when the mineral resources were exhausted. Mr. Aidoo reminded the chiefs that registration for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was too low within the region and asked them to encourage their subjects to register to join the scheme. Nana Nkuah Okumdom II, Vice President of the House said the confusion; mistrust and litigations within the house must cease. He said with such vices among the chiefs, the house could not play an effective role in the development of the people, their areas and nation.
Nana Kobina Nketsiah, Omanhene of Essikadu said the House, was the only meeting point of traditional rulers within the region therefore; efforts must be made to protect its dignity.
He expressed appreciation to the RCC for its initiative to mediate and find lasting solution to the impasse between the chiefs. "If we fail to unite, we will fail our people, retard the development of our respective areas and we cannot perform the duties expected of us as chiefs," He added.
Nana Nketsiah said traditional authorities must agitate for the provision of more development projects and the conversion of the Takoradi Port into a free port to allow the movement of goods and services.